While some controversy has recently arisen concerning the authorship of "Our.
history of Wilson have proved problematic. Because of lost records and.
sketchy censuses, Wilson's exact date of birth and death are not known,.
although she is estimated to have been born in 1827 or 1828. Census records.
do suggest that a Harriet Adams (Wilson's maiden name) lived in Milford, NH.
with a white family, probably as an indentured servant. After marrying Thomas.
Wilson in 1851, she left Milford, and in May of 1852 gave birth to a son,.
George Mason. In an appendix to "Our Nig," the author claims her husband.
abandoned her, and requests members of the community to buy her book so she.
can support her son: "Deserted by kindred, disabled by failing health, I am.
forced to some experiment which shall aid me in maintaining myself and child.
without extinguishing this feeble life.I sincerely appeal to my colored.
brethren universally for patronage." Wilson is thought to have died in .
Boston, not long after publication.
"Our Nig" opens with the story of Mag, a white woman, who through some .
earlier love affair has fallen from the ranks of the respectable white, and.
into poverty. Mag "descends another step down the ladder of infamy" when she.
then marries a black man, Jim, in the hopes of achieving financial security. .
Mag and Jim have a few children, and when they again find themselves in a.
financial bind, they abandon one of their girls as an effort to relieve some.
of their economic burden. The girl, Frado, is left at the house of the rich,.
white neighbors, the Bellmonts. After some discussion of sending Frado to the.
County House, the family decides to keep Frado in the household as an.
indentured servant. While only six years old at the time her service begins, .
Frado is subjected to long hours, hard labor, and less than adequate clothing .
and food. She is befriended by the men of the family, as well as an aunt, but .